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Tips for taking the Math SAT

After tutoring a student for 20 or so sessions on the math SAT I am learning that this test checks mathematical maturity and it is not easy to make a high score without a lot of preparation. One thing that makes a big difference is recognizing that a lot of questions require you to write down an algebraic equation and then solve for one or two unknowns. It helps to have a lot of experience with solving algebra word problems. Trigonometry is not heavily required but you do need to know the Pythagorean theorem and the distance formula for the distance between two points on a Cartesian coordinate system. Something that seems to pop up a lot requires factoring numbers into their primes and solving problems related to consecutive integers. You need to know how to deal with changes in areas and volumes when they vary as the square and cube of their radius or edge. It helps to understand that when you increase X by 5% that is the same as multiplying it by 1.05. You need to know how to solve ratio problems. Inequality problems pop up a lot and it can help to just plug in numbers to test the inequality rather than trying to reason it out algebraically. Those are some tips. Come see me for more help.

James P.